across the North East
Thanks for stopping by Common By Nature!
Focused on botany and insects, this blog brings together my observations of wildlife across the North East.
As a naturalist, my main interest is biological recording. This means that much of what you’ll see here will focus on finding and identifying wildlife, of all kinds.
This blog has changed a lot since 2011 but from plants to ladybirds, I hope you find something here to interest you!
New posts on North East wildlife
Observations on nature in Newcastle, Northumberland and beyond.
Get started identifying Speedwells
Get started identifying wild and naturalised speedwells in a brand-new crib sheet suitable for beginners. Find keys boring? You’re not alone. While those of us who spend our days obsessively…
Exploring Alien Plants in Newcastle
A short round-up of an excellent few days spent recording alien plants in Newcastle.
Getting to Grips with Spring Bulbs
Last weekend, I decided to take a closer look at wild and naturalised spring bulbs. From snowdrops to crocuses, here are a few spotted on recent walks. Daffodils, crocuses and…
An Urban Flora of Newcastle: Progress & Problems so Far
An update on ongoing survey carried out to map and record the diverse and fascinating Urban Flora of Newcastle.
Since 2020, I have become increasingly enamored with Britain’s diverse and beautiful ladybirds and for a while now, have been making an effort to record those found across the North East.
A personal challenge, if you will, these pages share my discoveries and observations so far. With a long way to go and many more places to visit, I’ll keep this area updated with ladybird news and discoveries.
Recent posts on ladybirds
Articles and updates on ladybirds and their recording in the North East.
Recording Ladybirds in 2022: a Few Highlights
Ladybirds have been a theme of 2022. Fresh from twelve months of ladybird recording, here’s a quick round-up of the highlights this year.
Ladybirds: A Short Talk and a New Course
With the arrival of winter, now seemed like a good time to look back on a year’s worth of ladybirds and look forward to a new course in 2023. A…
Great sites for ladybirds in the North East
A breif and evolving list of great places to find and record ladybirds in North East England.
Ladybirds along the Tyne – Elswick, Heaton, Havannah & Prudhoe
From the city carparks and cemeteries to chalk mounds at Prudhoe, it has been a fantastic fortnight for local ladybirds.
Of all the branches of natural history, it is botany that interests me the most.
While I am certainly not an expert, despite finding myself in the lucky position of becoming a BSBI County Recorder, here you’ll find observations, articles, and musings on plant life in the North East.
From exquisite orchids to urban trees, let’s see what we can discover!
Recent botany blogs
Recording and enjoying plants across Newcastle and Northumberland.
A Winter Walk at Hareshaw Linn
A short account of a frosty trip to Hareshaw Linn in Northumberland last weekend
Exploring Urban Cotoneasters in Newcastle
Recently, I’ve been taking a closer look at wild and naturalised cotoneasters in Newcastle. Here’s what I’ve found so far, from an amateur’s perspective.
Get started identifying the wild and naturalised snowdrops you’re most likely to spot in a brand-new crib sheet suitable for beginners.
Identifying Small-flowered Fleabanes
Get started identifying small-flowered fleabanes a brand-new crib sheet suitable for beginners. So far, this fledgling series of botanical cribs has focused on plants commonly encountered in urban areas. In…
The Basics of Wildlife Recording
A quick look at the basics of biological recording, including the key components of a wildlife record.
Sharing Your Wildlife Records
So, you’ve created a wildlife record. Now, where do you send it to maximise its value for conservation?
Comparing Plant ID Apps
Plant identification apps can be confusing, especially at first. However, there are lots out there to help botanists ID their finds.
North East wildlife highlights
Just a few exciting finds and lucky captures from walks across the region